Amber: Window to the Past

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9780810926523: Amber: Window to the Past

The unique properties of amber (fossilized tree resin) have long intrigued many people, and never more so than now. This fascinating book, which accompanied the most comprehensive exhibition about amber ever mounted, organized by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, explores the various aspects of this remarkable material, from its part in delineating evolutionary history, though study of the folklore surrounding it, to its use in decorative arts and jewelry. The 230 gorgeous and amazingly varied photographs and drawings vividly illuminate the roles of amber in both nature and art. Author David A. Grimaldi, associate curator and chairman of the American Museum of Natural History's Department of Entomology, looks at the origins and properties of amber and discusses how the objects, called inclusions, preserved within it provide not only clues to where, when, and how species of flora and fauna originated and developed, but also fascinating stories of how particular ones lived and died. Reproductions of amber pieces are supplemented by historical engravings and photographs as well as line drawings by the author that "map" what is going on within amber samples, highlighted by his reconstruction of an ancient Dominican forest from the clues provided by amber found there. A selected bibliography and index round out this engrossing and readable book, now available as an affordable paperback, which will delight lovers of science, history, and art as well as anyone intrigued by stories of how we - and our world - have evolved.

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About the Author:

Associate curator and chairman of the American Museum of Natural History's Department of Entomology, David Grimaldi has taken part in field exploration around the world. Through both purchase and fieldwork, he has assembled one of the finest extant collections of fossiliferous amber for the Museum. Dr. Grimaldi is also Adjunct Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, The City University of New York and Adjunct Professor, Entomology, Cornell University.

From Library Journal:

This beautifully illustrated book will be popular among naturalists and artists alike. Grimaldi, chair of the American Museum of Natural History's Department of Entomology, has skillfully combined the natural history of amber with coverage of its uses throughout history in art and sculpture. He discusses the properties of various types of amber, its most common localities, the types of life it typically preserves, and examples of past forgeries. Grimaldi's discussion of objects made of amber, from pipe stems to wall murals, range from the Mesolithic era to the 19th century and include all parts of the world. Among the book's greatest strengths are the copious and outstanding photographs and illustrations of specimens and objets d'art with accompanying descriptive notes. A wide-ranging treatise that will appeal to everyone from lay readers to specialists; highly recommended.?Jeanne Davidson, Oregon State Univ. Lib., Corvallis
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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David A. Grimaldi
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